The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London". The Society today acts as a scientific advisor to the British government, receiving a parliamentary grant-in-aid. The Society acts as the UK's Academy of Sciences, and funds research fellowships and scientific start-up companies. The Society is governed by its Council, which is chaired by the Society's President, according to a set of Statutes and Standing Orders. The members of Council and the President are elected from and by its Fellows, the basic members of the Society, who are themselves elected by existing Fellows. There are currently 1,314 Fellows, allowed to use the postnominal title FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society), with 44 new Fellows appointed each year. There are also Royal Fellows, Honorary Fellows and Foreign Fellows, the last of which are allowed to use their postnominal title ForMemRS (Foreign Member of the Royal Society).
Bees use colour-coding to collect pollen and nectar
A study published this week in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters finds that bees are able to learn which flowers to collect nectar and pollen from based on the colour of the blooms.
Are Neanderthal bone flutes the work of Ice Age hyenas?
A study in Royal Society Open Science says that so called 'Neanderthal bone flutes' are no more than the damaged bones of cave bear cubs left by scavengers during the Ice Age.
An elephant never forgets the way to the watering hole
A study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B tracked the movement of elephants across the African savannah. The elephants chose the shortest distances towards watering holes, pin-pointing the location of valuable ...
Mercury pollution danger for arctic ivory gulls
A paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B today says that mercury levels in arctic ivory gulls have risen almost 50 fold over the last 130 years. Scientists think this increase in mercury pollutants could be to blame ...
The search for human pheromones
"Do humans have pheromones?" asks a review published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B today. Professor Tristram Wyatt from the University of Oxford says that if we want to find out we need to start from scratch.
Starving honey bees lose self-control
A study in the journal of the Royal Society Biology Letters has found that starving bees lose their self-control and act impulsively, choosing small immediate rewards over waiting for larger rewards.
Pumas in populated areas kill more and eat less
Female pumas in areas with a high density of housing kill more deer but eat less of the carcasses than those in areas with little housing, finds a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The weird world of nuptial gifts
An opinion piece published in Biology Letters today delves into the weird world of nuptial gifts.
Is social networking making us stupid?
In a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface scientists have found that whilst mass connectivity through social media and the internet makes us look smarter it might be making us stupider.
Zebra finches are sensitive to emotional cues in human speech
A study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B shows that zebra finches can pick up on the features in human language that express emphasis and emotion.